Having recently split up from the father of her baby, Lilly is not in a happy place, matters being complicated further by the arrival of her ex-husband, needing a sofa to crash out on having been thrown out by his girlfriend.
In the midst of all this Lilly is asked by a child psychologist if she will help one of her patients: a girl currently sectioned having stolen a car while extremely drunk. While Lilly visits her she is introduced to Chloe, another unstable teenager who slips Lilly a note saying: 'Help us'.
And then Lilly's client is killed and Chloe accused of her murder. Her case is not helped by the fact that the words 'Help us' have been carved on the dead girl's stomach...
Praise for Helen Black:
The gritty urban sprawl of outer London is impressively evoked by Black, who never stoops to judge those seduced by a culture of violence, drugs and bling, instead drawing lines between poverty, neglect and addiction that reach far outside the confines of the homogenised estates these girls live, die and hustle on. A very readable contemporary crime thriller with a leading lady surely destined for primetime. Pulse.
Frightening, depressing, and knowledgeable. Country Life.
A dark and gripping read that will have you on the edge of your seat. Closer magazine.
Unexpected and moving... A Place of Safety is written with sympathy and humour - EuroCrime.